Get the right answer, once and for all !

Bad décor never really upsets me, because I know everyone does not have an eye for decorating. Bad decor challenges my creative spirit, and I love imagining how I would quickly freshen up a space with a few tweaks. I don’t get frustrated with bad furniture layouts, or even wrong cushion colours. The one thing that does throw me completely off balance is:  Art work that hangs too high, or too low.

I totally loose my concentration during the conversation and the only thing I can focus on is how to control myself not to jump up and move the artwork!

You only need to follow four golden rules when you hang artwork:




The average person is 1,52m tall. That average person’s head should be in the middle of your painting. I always work with 1,6m as a guide. (This height is what most galleries and museums use too) So whenever you hang artwork, make sure the middle of the average size artwork is 1,6m from the floor. If you are a family of tall people or giants, you can even make it 1,7m.


Many of us decorate our walls with a group of photos or smaller frames. Where is the middle of the artwork then? Lay them all out on the floor, and then make sure the center of the arrangement is 1,6m from the floor.

Of course, if you have a giant piece of art e.g. 5m x 4m, it is not possible to have the middle of the artwork on 1,6 m high. Then you probably live in a mansion or a palace and you can get professionals to hang them for you.

If you have a very small artwork that you want to hang against a big wall, don’t do it. If you think it’s too small for the wall, it probably is. If you need to ask someone’s opinion if it is too small for your wall, it probably is. Rather have a blank wall than a teeny weeny artwork.


Artwork normally should hang lower than most people think. Artwork complements the furniture, and should be able to “talk to one another”. There should not be too big a gap between your couch and the art. The 1,6m height is still a good guideline, but couches differ and you might have to adjust with 10cm or so. People tend to always hang artwork too high, rarely too low!

If it is your hallway, pictures can even hung a little bit higher, because there is no furniture that they complement. Here you can even aim for 1,7m from the floor, in the middle of the picture. If you hang artwork in a row, decide which one is your main focus, and then make sure either the top or bottom of all the other frames are the same height.


This is the most important rule! If you feel comfortable with an average “middle of picture height” of 1,6m, then all the pictures in the rest of your home should be that height too. Consistency is the key.

I hope you feel less confused now! Like most things in life, proper design does have a few basic rules that define whether some things work or not.


Until next time,

eriana bredenhann


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